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12. LETTERS ON HEMP AGRICULTURE.
|The tap roots of wild Nebraska hemp reach deep into the subsoil.|
Source: The Daily Graphic (Portage la Prairie,
Date: March 2, 2000
Author: Duane Cummings
HEMP GROWERS REGROUP AFTER CGP'S FALL
Manitoba hemp growers are plowing ahead with plans to form a co-operative. The Western Canadian Hemp Growers Co-op will represent about 230 Manitoba farmers who were growing hemp for Consolidated Growers and Processors. The new co-op includes the Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers Co-op which was hit when CGP suddenly closed its Winnipeg office and canceled plans for a Dauphin-area processing facility.
Lorne Hulme of Hulme Agra Products Inc. in MacGregor said growers still have their 1999 hemp crop and they are putting a marketing plan in place. "Each farmer owns that grain and has the right to do with it what he chooses," Hulme said.
But the new co-operative is encouraging farmers to team up and market the crop together rather than drive down prices by flooding the market. "We may have overproduced in 1999. The market cannot absorb the amount of hemp if it's dumped in the market in the next few weeks," Hulme said.
Hulme used to distribute hemp seed for CGP. He said reports of 38,000 tonnes of hemp seed sitting in storage in Portage la Prairie are exaggerated because the seed came from the 1998 crop when only a few hundred acres of hemp were grown in Manitoba. He said the seed could more accurately be measured in pounds, not tonnes. "This seed is sitting in a warehouse at Southport Aerospace Centre. It is from the 1998 crop. It is owned and paid for by CGP. The farmers have no interest."
However, between grain, seed production and fibre, CGP still owes Manitoba farmers just over $6 million. Farmers are interested in that payment, but there is some uncertainty about CGP's status.
The Calfornia-based CGP has declared bankruptcy in the United States, but CGP Canada has not declared bankruptcy. Hulme said farmers need the status of CGP Canada resolved because it affects growing contracts. The new growers co-operative will look at marketing the 1999 crop and plant its 2000 hemp according to market needs. Hulme does not expect any increase in the 2000 crop, but it could expand again in 2001. The co-operative will also evaluate opportunities for a fibre and grain processing facility.
Hulme said the problems with CGP may push some
farmers away from hemp in the short term, but he said there is still
strong interest in the crop. The hemp co-operative will also welcome
growers from smaller entities like Prairie Hemp which has about 20
growers. "In the end, farmers will be in control of production
and have some control over processing," Hulme said.
COMMENTARY SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: DEC. 7, 2000.
RE: States Rights and Medical Marijuana.
The question of States Rights and medical marijuana has been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1936. The present U.S. Supreme Court has accepted a case on medical marijuana, so I would like to enter one of my findings as a student of marijuana history. This argument came to me in a yard-sale book, The Development of the Constitution, by Percy Fenn, 1948. At home the book fell open on my desk to page 730, where the following passage from a tobacco tax case caught my eye:
"In United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. I, 1936, we (U.S. Supreme Court) held the federal government without power to control farm production."
It happened this case was also in the Fenn book on page 391. U.S. v. Butler, 1936, contains in the strongest language imaginable what delegated powers are all about. While the crop in question is cotton, the principle applies to both marijuana (Cannabis) and hemp as historically important in U.S. agriculture. Prior to 1937 medical marijuana was called Cannabis and was grown by the major drug companies. Both crops were unconstitutionally taxed into prohibition one year later, 1937, by the Marijuana Tax Act. The following quotes are from the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Butler:
"another principle embedded in our Constitution prohibits the enforcement of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The act invades the reserved rights of the states. It is a statutory plan to regulate and control agricultural production, a matter beyond the powers delegated to the federal government. The tax, the appropriation of the funds raised, and the direction for their disbursement, are but parts of the plan. They are but means to an unconstitutional end.
From the accepted doctrine that the United States is a government of delegated powers, it follows that those not expressly granted, or reasonably to be implied from as such are conferred, are reserved to the states or to the people. To forestall any suggestion to the contrary, the Tenth Amendment was adopted. The same proposition, otherwise stated, is that powers not granted are prohibited. None to regulate agricultural production is given, and therefore legislation by Congress for that purpose is forbidden.
It is an established principle that the attainment of a prohibited end may not be accomplished under the pretext of the exertion of powers which are granted.
The power of taxation, which is expressly granted, may, of course, be adopted as a means to carry into operation another power also expressly granted. But resort to the taxing power to effectuate an end which is not legitimate, not within the scope of the Constitution, is obviously inadmissible."
The present Supreme Court must recognize and rectify this injustice, by recognizing that medical Cannabis (marijuana) and industrial hemp were and are agricultural crops and are beyond the scope of the federal government.
Richard M. Davis, Curator. U.S.A. Hemp Museum
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: MAY 11, 2000.
RE: Farms: LA Sludge Dispute.
What do we do with our wastes? While there are no easy answers, the telling sentence came from an EPA microbiologist who said, "The science behind this is poor." Pay the bill, do the science. If we can find the gene for a specific disease, we can certainly tell if heavy metals are taken up by a green crop. And while the science is being done, a little planning might help.
What if we make the farmers in Kern County our partners in maintaining one of the largest urban centers in the world. Farmers get 85% of the useable water in California, water in which all Californians have an interest, by amendment to the State Constitution in 1928. Los Angeles needs clean air and a place to safely dispose of sludge wastes. Farmers need markets for non-edible crops grown with composted sludge wastes.
The crop that stands out as one solution to this dispute is hemp. Industrial hemp is by far the number one producer of biomass, 10 tons per acre in four months. Exactly the kind of biomass needed to compost sludge. Reduction of nitrogen levels by composting prevents nitrate contamination of groundwater and facilitates the destruction of harmful bacteria and objectionable odor. This same hemp biomass can be converted into alcohol fuels, including ethanol, which can be sold back to Los Angeles to fuel our transportation needs and help clean the air. The Air Resources Board should demand variable fuel technology on all cars starting next year. The CA Energy Commission has researched alcohol fuels and variable fuel technology since the 1980's. That science is not poor.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Butler, 1936, that Congress was "prohibited" and "forbidden" from regulating farm production, because that right is reserved to the states and the people by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is time for our state government to act. Pass the bill to allow hemp farming in California. Where do we get the notion that all power is invested in the Federal Government? There is no interstate commerce in this plan. Read the Tenth Amendment, Governor Davis, so we can get on with real planning.
Richard M. Davis, Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum